Gyms today are prepared to go the extra mile to attract us — and keep us coming back. Make sure you know how to get the most out of all the fitness perks and how to get the best gym membership deals!
1. Take advantage of gym membership free trials.
Sample before you buy! Always check with local gyms to see if they offer a gym membership free trial and take advantage of it — or check Groupon and LivingSocial for deals on classes and memberships.
These gyms offer free trials and are nationwide – some even international:
- 24 Hour Fitness – 3-day free trial
- Gold’s Gym – 14-day free trial
- Life Time Fitness – 1-day free trial
- Equinox Fitness (includes PURE Yoga, Blink Fitness and SoulCycle) – 1-day free trial
- LA Fitness – 5-day free trial (for you and a friend)
- Anytime Fitness – 7-day free trial
2. Use subscription services to take classes at tons of different studios or gyms.
Classpass, FitReserve and Localfit are three different services that charge you a monthly rate to take several classes at different studios and gyms. Both Classpass and Localfit offer a free-month trial to see if it’s something you’ll love!
3. Check with your employer for gym membership deals.
Many employers have “package deals” with fitness chains where employees get gym discount rates as part of their employee health benefits package.
I used to work out at 24 Hour Fitness for $21.00 a month (regularly $29.99) and no contract, thanks to a former employer!
4. If your employer doesn’t offer a gym membership discount, your insurer may.
My insurer is Blue Cross, and they offer gym membership deals to their members who join 24 Hour Fitness. I’m able to pay just $25 per month with no contract — a pretty good deal!
5. Tell them you’re on a budget.
Tell them the price they offered is more than you budgeted for or that the price of a different gym offered a lower price.
If they really want your business, they’ll need to work for it.
6. Look carefully at the “extras.”
Often gym memberships are sold as “packages” even if this isn’t spelled out. If the gym you want to join offers “free this and that,” ask what the price would be without those freebies.
Tell them what you want, and ask what the price would be for just that, and see what they say. Often, gyms may charge you extra for towel service when you can easily save by bringing your own.
7. Ask about restricted days/times (“off-peak” times).
My mom also works out at 24 Hour Fitness. She has a “restricted” plan, which means she picks the days (for instance, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and blocks of time (2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on “her” days) when she wants to work out, and she is only charged for those days and times.
8. Sign up for a new membership at the end of the month.
If you can time your gym “shopping trip” right at month’s end, and also during the hottest parts of the year in your area, you may land better gym membership deals. This is when membership sales slow down…but sales quotas don’t.
If you have the time, plan your first visit for the beginning of the month, but don’t buy until month-end (by this point, the associate will be eager to “close the sale” and may offer you an extra gym membership discount just to sign up).
9. Don’t pay initiation fees.
Contracts and initiation fees are largely on their way out nationwide. Initiation fees, in particular, are often the first to go on the chopping block if an associate is eager to sign you up – so don’t cave.
10. Ask about gym membership discounts for paying in one lump sum.
Some gyms are known not to budge on membership dues but may give a gym membership discount on the total price for those who pay in full for their year up front.
11. Let the associate do the talking.
Your sales associate will try to get you to talk about your career, your living situation, your income — all this to try to decipher how much you can afford. Don’t tell them anything, and you retain full bargaining power.
If the deal he or she offers doesn’t feel right, walk away. Just because you walk away doesn’t mean the associate will give up. Give them a week or two — they may call back and offer you a much better gym membership deal!
12. Join a gym with a friend.
Sometimes gyms offer a referral bonus when you get someone else to sign up for a membership. Usually, this will get you a gym discount as well as your friend!
13. Buy a 24 Hour Fitness membership through Costco.
A regular membership at 24 Hour Fitness can cost between $420.00 – $600.00 a year. Costco members can buy a two-year pass for $429.99! That’s basically half the price of a regular membership.
Note: Customers can only buy this once.
14. Ask about student, military and senior gym discounts.
Always make sure to ask someone at the gym about any extra discounts they might have. Student, military and senior discounts are the most popular.
Get ready for your gym with some great deals on workout gear from brands like Nike and Adidas on our deal pages. Or check out 31 Lululemon Sale Hacks to Save You a Freaking Fortune.
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